Monday, March 31, 2014

Uriah Heep's new studio album set for June release

English prog rockers Uriah Heep have announced more details on their upcoming 24th studio album. The new album, entitled Outsider, will be released in June on Frontier Records. This will be the band's first studio album after the passing of longtime member, bassist Trevor Bolder, last year. Bassist Davey Rimmer is Bolder's replacement. Outsider will be Rimmer's first album with Heep.

I'm excited by this news. This year has been pretty slow in terms of new releases, so I'm very 'appy (and very 'umble) to hear that the new Heep album with come out in just a few months! I will definitely review it here when it comes out.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Hard Day's Night to be re-released on DVD & Blu-Ray AND back in movie theaters

The Beatles' 1964 classic movie A Hard Day's Night will be re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 24. This is being done in celebration of the movie's 50th anniversary. Not only will be movie be re-released but it's also seeing a limited run in selected movie theaters. The re-release will be coming from the Criterion Collection, with the film newly remastered. As expected, the DVD and Blu-Ray will feature a load of special features. The movie has been released on both formats before, the last times being in 2002 and 2009 respectively. This new release will have both new and old features on the Fab Four's first motion picture.

I'm excited to hear about this. A Hard Day's Night is not only my favorite Beatles movie but it's also one of my favorite movies of all time. Seriously- it's my third favorite movie of all time (with This Is Spinal Tap and The Godfather following it as my second and first favorites). I do own the 2002 DVD, which already had bunch of special features. The one main criticism in the Amazon reviews for the 2002  version was that the movie's aspect ratio was incorrect- cutting the picture down. I'm sure this movie was shot in widescreen but I guess they did something wrong with the 2002 one.

Click here to read more information from the Criterion about the release.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Scott Asheton dead at 64

Scott Asheton
August 16,  1949 - March 15, 2014

Scott Asheton, original member and drummer for proto punk band the Stooges, died Saturday from unknown causes. Asheton was 64 years old. 

Asheton was one fourth of the original line-up for the Stooges, a rock band coming out of Michigan. With Asheton was his brother and guitarist Ron, singer Iggy Pop, and bassist Dave Alexander. The band were signed to Elektra Records in 1968 along with fellow Michigan-ers the MC5. The band released their self-titled debut album in 1969. After the 1970 follow-up Funhouse, the band were dropped from Elektra due to their drug and alcohol addictions. The band stayed quiet until 1972 when David Bowie came to the rescue. Although the original plan was to form a new band for Iggy, the Stooges ended up getting back together sans Alexander, who had been fired a few years earlier. The Asheton bothers regrouped with Iggy but Ron Asheton was "demoted" to bassist since Iggy already had new guitarist James Williamson. Bowie would help produce the highly influential Raw Power, which was released in 1973. The band split a year later. 

Asheton was involved in various other projects after the Stooges' split. For a period of time, he was a member of the supergroup Sonic's Rendezvous Band- formed by former MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith. The Stooges would reunite in 2003 with Iggy Pop and the Asheton brothers intact. The band made a reunion album. That album, 2007's The Weirdness, was met with mixed reviews. Still, the band continued to perform. In January 2009, Ron Asheton suddenly passed away from a heart attack. The band recruited Williamson to replace him in 2010. In June 2011, Asheton suffered from a severe medical injury while on a flight to a Stooges gig. Later that year, Pop told Rolling Stone that Asheton almost died right then and there.  While Asheton did temporarily retire from touring, he did play on last year's Ready to Die.

I'm very sad to hear about Scott's passing. It isn't too surprising, given that both Iggy and James have hinted that Scott's health wasn't the best. Earlier this year, it was announced that James will be taking old Stooges songs and make an album out of them- with a different lead singer on each track. I'm sure Scott's passing will have no impact to the making of this album. As for the Stooges, I think the name should be laid to rest with Dave Alexander, Ron Asheton, and now Scott. With Scott's death, Iggy is now the sole surviving member of the original line-up of the Stooges. I wouldn't be surprised if the Stooges name wasn't used again but then again, I wouldn't be surprised if the name was still used. 

Meanwhile- Rest in peace, Scott. Say hello to Dave and Ron for us.